‘Adopted’ trees transplanted

More than half of the 136 trees uprooted to make way for the construction of the new Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) headquarters at Section 14 here have been “adopted” by several organizations to be transplanted elsewhere. Of the 78 trees adopted, 48 were planted by PKNS at the Shah Alam Lake Gardens, while another 16, which were adopted by Denai Alam Recreation & Riding Club (DARC), have been planted at its riding range. Fourteen trees were adopted by the Veritas Design Group, the architect for PKNS’s new headquarters. The remaining 58 trees which could not be adopted were sent to timber companies to be used as hardwood.

Neapoli Environmental Design and Engineering managing director Dr Stellios Plainiotis said the trees which were saved were mostly hardwood trees such as Rain Trees, Angsana, Akasia, African Tulips and Casuarinas. “Most of the trees saved were young trees between 5 and 6 years old, and between 3m and 5m tall. “Only a handful of smaller, older trees were saved,” said Plainiotis, whose company is building the PKNS complex the green way. Plainiotis said the trees which were up to 25 years old were too big and expensive to transport.

On average, the trees which were more than 10 years old and up to 20m in length, were costing companies up to RM20,000 to transport the trees in trailers. “The survival rate among these trees were also lower compared with the younger trees which had younger roots, were more flexible and adaptable to being transplanted. He said most companies did not bother adopting, transplanting and conserving trees at development sites as it was not part of the Green Building Index (GBI) criteria.

“If such acts could score GBI points for private companies and developers, and they were granted incentives such as tax breaks, it would encourage them to invest money in the trees,” he said, adding that trees at development sites usually end up in landfills. He also advised companies which could afford to bear the high cost of transplanting the trees and the risk of the trees dying to invest in the conservation of the trees as it was a noble deed.

Also involved in the transplanting of the trees was My Khatulistiwa Sdn Bhd, a company which helps corporate companies plan and implement their corporate social responsibility strategies. It also roped in Yayasan Anak Warisan Alam volunteers to transplant the trees at DARC recently. Source: The New Straits Times

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